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William Leggett 

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University Microfilms Limited, High Wycomb, England 
A Xerox Company, Ann Arbor, Michigan, US.A. 


i i 

I litre loTttl Ibce, Oo*an ! nii my joy 
Of youthful poiti wai on thy brosl to be 
Born< t ) ic thy t illowj, cawnrJi. 





No. JOS Broadwav. /\ 


1835. \ 



Entered, ao.cordlng to &ct of Congress, in the ycnr 1S34, by 
WILLIAM LEGGETT, in the Clerk s otlico of tlic District Court 
of the United Statei for the Southern District of New- York. 




Tho Encounter, 9 

A Night at Gibraltar, t , 33 

Merry Terry, Cl 

The Mess.Chest, 87 

Tho Main Truck, or a Leap for Life, 109 

Firo and Water, 127 

Brought to the Gangway, 151 

A Watch in the Main Top, 181 


" j 




One universal shriek there rushed, 
Louder than tho loud ocean, liko a crash 

Of echoing thunder; and then all was hushed 
Save the wild wind, and tie remorseless dash 

Of billows. . yron.. 

THE Active, Sloop of War, had been lying all 
day becalmed, in mid ocean, and was rolling ani 
pitching in a heavy ground swell, which was tho 
only trace led of the gale she had lately encoun 
tered. The sky was of as tender and serene a bluo 
as if it had never been deformed with clouds ; and 
the atmosphere was bland and pleasant, although 
the latitude and the season might both have led one 
to expect different weather. Since the morning 
watch, when the wind, after blowing straight an end 
for several days together, had died suddenly away, 
there had not been enough air stirring to lift tho 
dog-vane from its staff, down which it hung in mo 
tionless repose, except when raised by the heave of 
the vessel, as she laboured in the trough of the sea. 
Her courses had been hauled up, and she lay under 


her threo topsails, braced on opposite tacks, ready 
to take advantage of the first breath of wind, from 
whatever quarter it might come. 

The crew were disposed in various groups about 
the deck, some idling away in listless ease the inter 
val of calm ; some, with their clothes-bags besid.i 
them, turning it to account in overhauling their dun 
nage; while others moved fidgety about, on the 
forecastle and in the waist, eyeing, ever and anon, the 
horizon round, as if already weary of their short 
holiday on the ocean, and impatiently watching for 
some sign of a breeze. To a true sailor there arc 
few circumstances more annoying than a perfect 
calm. The same principle of our nature which 
makes the traveller on land, though journeying with 
out any definite object, desire the postilion to whip 
up his horses and hasten to the end of his stage, is 
manifested in a striking degree ai* -ig seamen. The 
end of one voyage is but the beginning of another, 

* O O 

and their life is a constant succession of hard 
ships and perils; yet they cannot abide that the 
elements should grant them a moment s respite. As 
the wind dies away their spirits /lag; they move 
heavily and sluggishly about while the calm con 
tinues; but rouse at the first whisper of the breeze, 
and arc never gayer or more animated than when 
their canvass swells out to its utmost tension in the 

On the afternoon in question, this feeling of rest- 


Icssncss at the continuance of the calm was not con* 
fined to the crew of the Active. Her commander 
had been nearly all day on deck, walking to and fro, 
on the starboard side, with quick impatient strides, 
or now stepping into one gangway, and now into tlio 
other, and casting anxious and searching looks into 
all quarters of the heavens, as if it were of the ut 
most consequence that a breeze should spring up and 
enable him to pursue his way. Indeed it was whis 
pered among the officers, that there were reasons of 
state which made it important they should reach 
their point of destination as speedily as possible ; 
though where that point-was, or what those reasons 
were, not a soul on board knew, except the captain 
and he was nut a man likely to enlighten their 
ignorance on the subject. Few words, in truth, did 
any one ever hear from Black Jack, as the reefers 
nicknamed him ; and when he did speak, what lie 
said was not generally of a kind to make them desire 
he should often break his taciturnity. 

He was a straight, tall, stern-looking man, just 
passed the prime of life, as might be inferred from 
the wrinkles on his thoughtful brow, and the slightly 
grizzled hue of the locks about his temples ; though 
his hair, elsewhere, was as black as the raven. IJis 
face bore the marks both of storm and battle : it was 
furrowed and deeply embrowned by long exposure 
to every vicissitude of weather ; arid a deep scar 
across the left brow told a tale of dangers braved 


and overcome. His eyes were large, black and 
piercing; and the habitual compression and curve of 
his lip indicated both firmness and haughtiness of 
character indications which those who sailed with 
him had no reason to complain of as deceptive. 

13ul notwithstanding his impatience, and the ur- 
gcncy of his mission, whatever it was, the Active 
continued to roil heavily about at the sport of the 
big round billows, which swelled up and spread and 
tumbled over so lazily, that their glassy surfaces 
were not broken by a ripple. The sun went down 
clear, but red and fiery ; and the sky, though its 
blue faded to a duskier tint, still remained un flecked 
by a single cloud. As the broad round disk disap 
peared beneath the wave, all hands were called to 
stand by thoir hanuno cks ; and when the stir and 
bustle incident to that piece of duty had subs dcd, 
an unwonted degree of stillness settled on the vessel. 
Tin s was owing in part, no doubt, to the presence of 
the commander, before whom the crew were not apt 
to indulge in any great exuberance of merriment ; 
but the sluggish and unusual state of the weather 
had probably the largest share in the effect. The 
captain continued on deck, pacing up and down the 
starboard side ; the lieutenant of the watch leaned 
over the fafirel, his trumpet idly dangling by its 
bcckct from his. arm; and tho two quarter-deck 
midshipmen walked in the gangway, beguiling their 


watch with prattle about homo, or gay anticipations 
of the future. * 

"We .shall have a dull and lazy right of it, 
Vangs," said the master s mate of the forecastle, as 
he returned forward from adding on the log. si ate 
another "ditto" to the long column of them which 
recorded the history of the day. The person ho 
addressed stood on the heel of the bowsprit, with his 
arms folded on his breast, and his gaze fixed intently 
on the western horizon, from which the daylight had 
now so completely faded, that it required a practised 
and keen eye to discern where the sky and water 
met. He was a tall, square-framed, aged looking 
seaman, whose thick gray hair shaded a strongly 
marked and weather-beaten face, and whose shaggy 
overcoat, buttoned to the throat, covered a form 
that for forty years had breasted the storms and 
perils of every sea. lie did not turn his head, nor 
withdraw his eyes from the spot they rested on, as 
he said, in a low tone, " We shall have work enough 
before morning, Mr. Garnet." 

" Why, where do you read that, Vangs?" inquired 
the midshipman " thcro is nothing of the sort in 
my reckoning." 

"I read it in a book I have studied through many 
a long cruise, Mr. Garnet, and though my eyes aro 
getting old, I think I can understand its meaning yet. 
Hark ye, young man, the hammocks aro piped down, 



and the watch is set; but there will be no watch in 

this night mark my words." 

" Why, Vangs, you arc turning prophet," replied 
the master s-mate, who was a* rattling young fellow, 
full of blood and blue veins. "I shouldn t wonder 
to sec you strike tarpauling when the cruise is up, rig 
out in a Methodist s broad brim and straight togs, 
and ship the next trip for parson." 

" My cruisings arc pretty much over, Mr. Gar- 
net, and my next trip, I am thinking, is one I shall 
have to go alone though there s a sign in the 
heavens this night makes me fear I shall have but 
too much company." 

" Why, what signs do you talk of, mui ?" asked 
the young officer, somewhat startled by the quiet 
and impressive tone and mariner of the old quarter 
master. " I see nothing that looks like a change of 
weather, and yet I see all there is to be seen." 

"I talked in the same way, once, I remember," 
said Vangs, "when I was about your age, as we lay 
becalmed one night in the old Charlotte East India- 
man, heaving and pitching in the roll of a ground 
swell, much as we do now. The next morning 
found me clinging to a broken topmast, the only 
thing left of a fine ship of seven hundred tons, which, 
with every soul on board of her, except me, had 
gono to the bottom. That was before you were 
born, Mr. Garnet." 


" Such things have often been, no doubt, said 
Garnet, " and such tilings will bo again nay, may 
happen as you say, before morning.- But because 
you were once wrecked in a gale of wind that 
sprung up out of a calm, it is no reason that every calm 
is to be followed by such a gale. Show me a sign 
of wind, and I may believe it ; but for my part, I see 
no likelihood of enough even to blow away the 
smoke of that cursed galley, which circles and 
dances about here on the forecastle, as if it was 
master s mate of the watch, and was ordered to keep 
a bright look-out." 

"Turn your eye in that direction, Mr, Garnet. 
Do you not see a faint belt of light, no broader than 
my finger, that streaks the sky where the sun went 
down ? It is not daylight, for I watched that all 
fade away, and the last glimmer of it was gono 
before that dim brassy streak began to show itself. 
And carry your eye in a straight line above it do 
you not mark how thick and lead-like the air looks? 
There is that there," said the old man, (laying his 
hand on the bowsprit, as he prepared to sit down 
between the night-heads) " will try what stuff these 
sticks are made of before the morning breaks." 

Young Garnet put his hand over his brow, and 
half shutting his eyes, peered intently in the direc 
tion the old seaman indicated ; but no sign pregnant 
with such evil as ho foreboded, or no appearance 
even of the wished for breeze, met his vision. Irn- 


puling the predictions of Vangs to those megrims 
which old sailors are apt to have in a long calm, or 
perhaps to a desire to play upon his credulity, he 
folded his pea-coat more closely about him, and 
taking his seat on the nettings in such a position that 
he could lean hack against the fore-rigging, pre 
pared to settle himself down in that delicious state of 
repose between sleeping and waking, in which he 
thought he might with impunity doze away such a 
quiet watch as his promised to be. lie had scarcely 
closed his eyes, however, when a sound rung in his 
cars that made him spring to the deck, and at once 
dispelled all disposition to slumber. It was the clear 
trumpet-like voice of the captain himself] hailing the 

"Sir!" bawled the startled master s mate. 

"Have your halliards clear for running, sir! 
your cluelines led along, and the men all at their 

"Ay, ay,, sir!" sung Garnet in reply, and then 
muttered to himself, " here s the devil to pay and no 
pitch hot. What is the meaning of all this, I won 
der? Has the skipper seen old Vangs s streak of 
brass, too ? or does he hope to coax the wind out, by 
raising such a breeze on deck ?" And he stepped 
upon a shot box, and cast another long, searching 
glance into the western horizon ; but there was no 
sign there which to his inexperienced eye boded any 
change of weather. 


"Fo castlc, there!" again sounded from the 
quarter-deck, but it was now the voice of the lieute 
nant of the watch, hailing through his trumpet, 

"Sir !" answered the mate. 

" Send the fo castle-mcn aloft to furl the foresail. 
Quarter-gunner and after-guard, do you hear ! lay 
aloft lay out furl away !" 

These and other similar orders were quickly 
obeyed, and stillness again succeeded. But the at 
tention of all on deck was now aroused ; and every 
one watched in silence for some less questionable 
forerunner of wind than was yet visible to their eyc. 
They all noticed, however, that the sky had grown 
thicker and of a dingier hue, and that not a single 
star peeped through the gloom. But there was not 
a breath of air yet stirring. The topsails continued 
to flap heavily against the masts, as they were 
swayed to and fro by the motion of the vessel ; tho 
lower yards creaked in their slings ; and the ship 
headed now one way and now another, as she yawed 
and swung round, completely at the mercy of the 
swell. The seamen gathered in groups at their 
several stations, and waited in silence the result 
which all now began to apprehend. 

But while these feelings of indefinite fear were 
entertained by those on deck, the watch below were 
disturbed by no such anxiety. The officers in the 
gun-room were variously occupied, according to 
their different tastes and inclinations ; some amusing 


themselves by reading, some writing, and others 
stretched upon the chairs or in their berths, dream 
ing away the interval of rest. The midshipmen in 
the steerage had gathered round their mess-table, 
and were engaged in lively chat and repartee, 
arid in cracking nautical jokes and witticisms 
upon each oilier. Their discourse was plenti- 
fully interlarded with sea-phrases ; for thcsc-juvcnilc 
sons of Neptune, however slender their seamanship 
in other respects, have commonly great volubility in 
rattling off the technicals of their profession, and a 
surprising facility in applying them to the ordinary 
topics of conversation. With the omission of a 
single letter, the distich describing Iludibras might 
be applied to them, or, if a poor pun be allowable, it 
may be said to fit them to a t, for 

they cannot opo 

Their mouths, but nut there fulls a ropo. 

One of the merriest and noisiest of the group in 
the Active s steerage was a little, rosy-cheeked, 
bright-eyed reefer, whose flaxen hair curled in natu 
ral ringlets around his temples, and was surmounted 
by a small low-crowned tarpauling hat, cocked 
knowingly on one side, in amusing imitation of the 
style of the full-grown jack tar. 

" Hullo, Jigger, how does she head now ?" cried 
the little wag to one of the mcssboys, aj his bandy 
legs made their appearance do\vn the companion 


"She head cbery which way, Misser Burton," 
answered the black, his shining face dilated with a. 
prodigious grin, showing he relished the humour of 
the question. "It is a dead calm on deck youknow, 
Misser Burton, and de main yard is brace frat 

"0, 1 sec," rejoined the urchin, "they have hovo 
her to, Jigger, to give her half a lemon to keep her 
from fainting. She has outsailed the wind, and is 
lying by to wait for it." 

" Lying by, indeed /" said another ; " she is going 
like atop." 

" And if she keeps on," added a third, "she will 
soon go as fast as the Dutchman s schooner, when 
she stood into port under a heavy. press of bolt-ropes, 
the sails having blown clean out of them at sea." 

"Oh, I heard of that schooner," resumed little 
Burton, the first speaker. "It was she that sailed 
so fast, that when they broke up her hatches, they 
found she had sailed her bottom off." 

"Her skipper," interrupted another, "was both 
master and chief mate, and they made the duty easy 
by dividing it between them, watch and watch." 

"Yet the Dutchman grew so thin upon it," added 
little Burton, " that when he got home his mother 
and sister could nt both look at him at once." 

"And his dog," said the other, "got so weak, it 
had to lean against the mast to bark." 

l>: Come, come, take a turn there, and belay," 


cried one of the older midshipmen, who was stretched 
at full length upon a locker. " Come, you have 
chased that joke fur enough. ITcavc about, and see 
if you can t give us something better on t other 

"Well, Tom Derrick, if you don t like our rigs, 
tip us a twist, yourself. Come, spin us a yarn, my 
boy, if you have your jaw-tacks aboard." 

"No, no, Charley Burton, I can t pay out any 
slack to-night. I am as sleepy as a lookout in a 
calm. My eyes feel like the marine s when his cue 
was served so taught, lie could nt make his eyelids 
meet. Hullo, Jigger, rouse out my hammock from 
that heap and hang it up you know which it is, 
don t you?" 

" Ki ! I wish I had as much tobacco as I know 
which Misscr Derrick s hammock is!" eagerly re 
plied the negro. 

This characteristic speech produced a hearty burst 
of laughter; and in chat and merriment of this sort 
the evening slipped away, until the hour for extin 
guishing the lights arrived, and the quarter-master 
came down- to douse the glim. 

"Well, \ 7 angs," cried the ever ready Burton, "it 

is blowing an Irishman s hurricane on deck, is nt it 

straight up and down, like a pig s eye?" 

" It is all quiet yet," replied Yangs, " but the sky 
has a queer look, and there will bo a hurricane of a 


different sort before you are many hours older, Mr. 

" Is there really any prospect of wind?" asked the 
midshipman we have called Derrick. 

" There is something brewing in the clouds we 
none of us understand," answered the old man, in 
his low quiet tone. We shall have more wind than 
\vo want before long, or I am out in my reckoning." 

"Let it come but-cnd foremost, if it chooses, and 
the sooner the better," said young Burton, laughing; 
" any weather rather than this ; for this is neither 
fish, flesh, nor red herring. Let it blow, Vangs, and 
I would nt mind if it were such a breeze as you had 
in the old Charlotte, you know, when it blew the 
Sheet-anchor into tho foretop, and took three men 
to hold the captain s hair on his head." 

The old quarter-master turned a grave and 
thoughtful look on the round face of the lively boy, 
and seemed meditating an answer that might repress 
what probably struck him as untimely mirth ; but 
even while he was in the act to speak, the tempest 
he had predicted burst in sudden fury upon the 
vessel. The first indication those below had of its 
approach was the wild rushing sound of the gust, 
which broke upon their ears like the roar of a vol. 
cano. The heaving and rolling of the ship ceased 
all at once, as if the waves had been subdued and 
chained down by the force of a mighty pressure. 
The vessel stood motionless an instant, as if instinct 


with life, and cowering in conscious fear of the ap 
proaching strife; the tempest then burst upon her 
but-cnd foremost, as Burton expressed it, and the 
stately mass reeled and fell over before it, like a 
tower struck down by a thunderbolt. The surge was 
so violent that the ship was thrown almost on her 
beam-ends, and every thing on board, not secured 
in the strongest manner, was pitched with great 
force to leeward. Midshipmen, mess-table, ham- 
mocks, and the contents of the mess lockers, fell 
rustling, rattling, and mixed in strange disorder, to 
the Ice-scuppers; and when the ship slowly righted, 
straining and trembling in every plank, it was a 
moment or two before those who had been so un 
expectedly heaped together in the bends, could ex 
tricate themselves from the confusion, and make 
their way to the upper deck. 

There, a scene of fearful grandeur was presented. 
The sky was of a murky, leaden hue, and appeared 
to bend over the ship in a nearer and narrower arch, 
binding the ocean in so small a round, that the eye 
could trace, through the whole circle, the line where 
the sickly looking heaven rested on the sea. The 
air was thick and heavy; and the water, covered 
with driving snow-like foam, seemed tD be packed 
and flattened down by the fury of the blast, which 
scattered its billows into spray as cutting as the sleet 
of a December storm. The wind howled i^Aid 
screamed through the rigging with an appalling 


sound, that might be likened to the shrieks and wail. 
ings of angry fiends ; and the ship fled before the 
tempest, like an affrighted thing, with a velocity 
that piled the watei in a huge bank around her 
bows, and sent it off, whirling and sparkling, in lines 
of dazzling whiteness, soon lost in the general huo 
of the ocean, which resembled a wild waste of drift. 
ing snow. 

There was one^on deck, however, who had fore, 
seen this awful change, arid made preparations to 
meet it ; and when the tempest burst, in full, fell 
swoop, upon his ship, it found nothing but the baro 
hull and spars to oppose its tremendous power. 
Every sail had been closely and securely furled, ex. 
ceptthc fores to rm staysail, which was set for a reason 
that seamen will understand ; but being hauled well 
aft by both sheets, r: was stretched stiilly amidships, 
and presented nothing but the bolt rope for the wind to 
act upon. The masts and yards, with their snug 
and well-bound rolls of canvass, alone encountered 
the hurricane. But even these were tried to the 
uttermost. The topmasts bent and creaked before 
the blast, and the royal poles of the topgallantmasts, 
which extended above the crosstrecs, whipped and 
thrashed about like pliant rods. The running rig- 
ging rattled against- the spars, and the shrouds and 
backstays strained and cracked, as if striving to 
draw the strong bolts which secured them to thd 



For more than an hour did the Active flee along 
in this way, like a wild horse foaming and stretch- 
ing at liis utmost speed, driven onward in the van of 
the tempest, and exposed to its fiercest wrath. At 
length, the first fury of the ga e passed away, and 
the wind, though still raging tempestuously, swept 
over her with less appalling force. The ocean, now, 
as if to revenge itself for its constrained inactivity, 
roused from its brief repose, and swelled into billows 
that rolled and chased each other with the wild glee 
of ransomed demons. Wave upon wave, in multi 
tudinous confusion, came roaring in from astern ; 
and their white crests, leaping) ai!d sparkling, and 
hissing, formed a striking feature in the scene. The 
wind, fortunately, issued from the right point, and 
drove the Active towards her place of destination. 
The dun pall of clouds, which from the commence 
ment of the gale, had totally overspread the heavens, 
except in the quarter whence the blast proceeded, 
now began to give way, and a reddish light shone 
out here and there, iu long horizontal streaks, liko 
the glow of expiring coals between the bars o"a fur 
nace. Though the first dreadful violence of the 
storm was somewhat abated, it still raved with too 
much fierceness and power to admit of any relaxa 
tion of vigilance. The commander himself still re 
tained the trumpet, and every oiilccr stood in silence 
at his station, clingLng to whatever might assist him 
to maintain his diilicult footing. 

Till* ENCOUNTER. .27 

"Light, oh !" cried the lookout on one of the cat 

"Where away?" demanded the captain. 

"Dead ahead." 

" What does it look like, and how far off?" shouted 
the captain, in a loud and earnest voice. 

" Can see nothing now, sir ; the glim is doused." 
, " Here, Mr. Burton," cried the commander, "take 
this night glass ; jump aloft on the fbreyard, sir, and 
see if you can make out any object ahead. Hurry 
up, hurry up, and let me hear from you immediately, 
sir ! Lay ail to the braces ! Forecastle, there! have 
hands by your staysail sheets on both sides! fore- 
yard, there!" 

Bui before the captain had finished his hail, the 
voice of little Burton was heard, singing out, "sail 

"What docs she look like, and where away?" 

"A large vessel lying to under bare poles star 
board your helm, sir, quick hard a starboard, or 
you will fall aboard of her!" 

This startling intelligence was hardly communi 
cated before the vessel descried from aloft loomed 
suddenly into siijlit from deck through the thick 

r , O 

weather to leeward. ITcr dusk and shadowy form 
seemed to rise up from the ocean, so suddenly did 
it open to view, as the driving mist was scattered 
for a moment. She lay right athwart the Active s 
bows, and almost under her fore-foot as it seemed 


while she pitched into the trough of an enormous 
sea and the Active rode on the ridge of the sue- 
cccding wave, which curled ahove the chasm, as if 
to overwhelm the vessel beneath. 

"Starboard your helm, quarter-master ! hard a- 
starboard!" cried the commander of the Active, in 
a tone of startling energy. 

"Starboard!" repeated the deep solemn voice of 
old Vangs, who stood on the quarter-nettings, his 
tall f gure propped against the rnizcn rigging, and 
his arm wreathed round the shroud. 

"Jump to the braces, men !" continued the captain 
strenuously "haul in your starboard braces, haul! 
case of] your larboard ! does she come to, quarter 
master ? Fo castle there ! ease off your larboard 
staysail sheet let all go, sir!" 

These orders were promptly obeyed, but it was 
too late for them to avail. The wheel, in the hands 
of four stout and experienced seamen, was forced 
swiftly round, and the effect of the rudder was as. 
sistcd by a pull of the starboard braces; but in such 
a gale, and under bare poles, the helm exerted but 
little power over the driving and ponderous mass. 
She had headed off hardly a point from her course, 
when she was taken up by a prodigious surge, and 
borne onward with fearful velocity. The catastro 
phe was now inevitable. In an instant the two 
ships fell together, their massive timbers crashing 
with the fatal force of the concussion. A wild 


shriek ascended from the deck of the stranger, and 
woman s shrill voice mingled with the sound. All 
was now confusion and uproar on board both ves 
sels. The Active had struck the stranger broad on 
the bows, while the bowsprit of the latter, rushing 
in between the foremast and the starboard fore- 
rigging of the Active, had snapped her shrouds and 
stays, and torn up the bolts and chainplates, as if 
they had been thread and wire. Staggering back 
from the shock, she was carried to some distance by 
a refluent wave, which suddenly subsiding, she gave 
such a heavy lurch to port that the foremast now 
wholly unsupported on the starboard side snapped 
short oil* like a withered twig, and fell with a loud 
plash into the ocean. 

"The foremast is gone by the board!" shouted 
the ofiicer of tho forecastle. 

" .My Clod !" exclaimed the captain r " and Charles 
Burton has gone with it ! J^o castlc there ! Did 
Charles Burton come down from the ibreyard?" 

<k Burton ! Burton ! Burton !" called twenty voices, 
and "Burton!" was shouted loudly over the side; 
but there was no reply ! 

In the mean while another furious billow lifted the 
vessel on its crest, and the two ships closed again, 
like gladiators, faint and stunned, but still compelled 
to do battle. The bows of the stranger this time 
drove heavily against the bends of the Active just 
abaft her main-rigging, and her bowsprit darted 


quivering in over the bulwarks, as if it were the 
arrowy tongue of some huge sea monster. At tins, 
instant a wild sound of agony, between a shriek andi 
#roan, was heard in that direction, and^hose who 
.turned to ascertain its cause saw, as the vessels , 
again separated, a human body, swinging and writh 
ing at the stranger s bowsprit head. The vessel! 
heaved up into the moonlight, and showed the face 
of poor Vangs, the quarter-master, his back ap 
parently crushed and broken, but his arms clasped 
round the spar, to which lie appeared to cling with 
convulsive tenacity. The bowsprit had caught 
him on its end as it ran in over the Active s side, and 
driving against the mi /zenmast, deprived the poor 
wretch of all power to rescue himself from the 
dreadful situation. While a hundred eyes were 
fastened in a gaze of horror on the impaled seaman, 
thus dangling over the boiling ocean, the strange ship 
again reeled forward, as if to renew the terrible en- 
counter. But her motion was now slow and labour- 
ing. She was evidently settling by the head ; she 
paused in mid career, gave a heavy drunken lurch 
to starboard, till her topmasts whipped against the 
rigging of her antagonist, then rising slowly on the 
ridge of the next wave, she plunged head foremost, 
and disappeared for ever. One shriek of horror and 
despair rose through the storm one wild delirious 
shriek ! The waters swept over the drowning 
wretches, and hushed their gurgling cry. Then all 


was still! nil but the rush and whirl of waves as 
they were sucked into the vortex, and the voice of 
the storm, which howled its wild dirge above the 

When day dawned on the ocean, the Active pre- 
scntcd a different appearance from that which she 
exhibited but a few short hours before. Her fore 
mast gone, her bowsprit sprung, her topgallantrrmsts 
struck, her bulwarks shattered, her rigging hanging 
loose, and whitened by the wash of the spray she 
looked little like the gay and gallant thing which, 
at the same hour of the previous day, had ploughed 
her course through the sea, despite the adverse gale, 
and moved proudly along under a cloud of canvass, 
as if she defied the fury of the elements. Now, "how 
changed ! how sad the contrast ! The appearance 
of .such of the officers and crew as were moving 
about the deck harmonized with that of the vessel. 
They looked pale arid dejected : and the catas 
trophe they had witnessed had left traces of horror 
stamped on every brow. The Active was still near 
the spot of the fatal event, having been lying to 
under a close reefed mainsail, which the lulling of 
the wind had enabled her to bear. As the dawn 
advanced, the upper deck became crowded, and 
long and searching looks were cast over the ocean 
in every direction, in the hope to discover some 
vestige of those who had met their doom during the 
night. Such of the boats as had not been staved 


\vcro lowered, and long and patient efforts were 
made to discover traces of the wreck. But the 
search was fruitless, and was at last reluctantly 
abandoned. The boats were again hauled up and 
stowed ; the Active filled away, and under such sail 
as she could carry in her crippled state, crept for. 
ward towards her goal. During the rest of her 
voyage no merry laugh, no lively prattle, cheered 
the steerage mess-table. The bright eyes of Charles 
Burton were closed his silvery voice was hushed 
his gay heart was cold and his messmates 
mourned his timeless fate with real sorrow. 

In a few days, the Sloop of War reached her 
port, and was immediately warped to the dock-yard, 
where she was stripped, hove down, and thoroughly 
overhauled. The officers and crew lent themselves 
earnestly to the duty, and a short time served to 
accomplish it. In less than a week, every thing set 
up and all a-taunto, the ship hauled out again, 
gleaming with fresh paint, and looking as proud 
and stately as before the disaster. But where was 
she that had been wrecked in the encounter ? Where 
and who were thiit perished witli her? Fond 
hearts were doubtless eagerly awaiting them, and 
anxious eyes strained over the ocean " to hail the 
bark that never could return." No word, no whis 
per ever told their fate. They who saw them per- 
ish knew not the victims, and the deep gave not up 
its dead. 



of Get] 

and its 
for the i 
and bot 
steed ft 
with i!x 


The raisUboil up around rno, and tho clouds 
Rise curling fast beneath me, white and sulphury f 
Liko foam from tho roused ocoan of deep boll. 

I nm most nick nt heart nay, raip rno not 

I a:n all feeb!eno>s the mountains whirl 

Spinning cround mo I grow blind What art thou J 


THE first time I ever saw the famous Rock of 
"Gibraltar was on a glorious afternoon in the month 
of October. The sun diffused just heat enough 
through the air to give it an agreeable temperature, 
and its soft and somewhat hazy light, showed the 
scenery of the Straits to the best advantage. We 
had had a rough, but uncommonly short passage ; 
for the wind, though tempestuous, had blown from 
the right quarter; and our gallant frigate dashed 
and bounded over tnc waves before it, "like a 
steed that knows his rider." I could not then add 
with the poet, from whom I have borrowed this 
quotation, "Welcome to their roar !" for I was a 
novice on the ocean in those days, and had not en 
tirely recovered from certain uneasy sensations 


about the region of the epigastrium, which by no 1 
means rendered the noise of rushing waters the 
most agreeable sound to my cars, or the rolling of 
the vessel the most pleasant motion for my body. 
Never did old sea-dog of a sailor, in the horse lati 
tudes, pray more sincerely for a wind, than I did for 
a calm, during that boisterous passage ; and never, 
I may add, did the selfish prayer of a sinner prove 
less availing. The gale kept " due on the Propontic 
and the Hellespont," and it )lew so hard that it 
sometimes seemed to lift our old craft almost out of 
water. When we came out of port, we had had our 
dashy fair-weather spars aloft, with skysail yards 
athwart, a moonsail to the main, and hoist enough 
for the broad blue to show itself above that. But 
before the pilot left us, our topgallant-poles were 
under the boom-cover, and storm-stumps in their, 
places ; and the first watch was scarcely relieved, 
when the boatswain s call repeated by four mates, 
whose lungs seemed formed on purpose to outroar 
a. tempest rang through the ship, " All hands to 
house topgallantmasts, ahoy !" From that time till 
we made the land, the gale continued with unintcr- 
mittccl violence, to the great delight of the old tars, 
and the manifest annoyance of the green reefers, of 
whom we had rather an unusual number on board. 
If my pen were endued with the slightest portion of the 
quality which distinguished Hogarth s pencil, I might 


here give a description of a man-of-war s steerage 
in a storrn, which should force a smile from the 
most saturnine reader. I must own I did not much 
relish the humour of the scene then pars mognafui 
that is, I was sea-sick myself; but often since, 
sometimes in my hammock, sometimes during a cold 
mid. watch on deck, I have burst into a hearty laugh, 
as the memory of our grotesque distresses, and of 
the odd figures we cut during that passage, has 
glanced across my mind. 

But the longest day must have an end, and the 
stillest breeze cannot last for ever. The wind, which 
for a forfnight had been blowing as hard as a trum 
peter for a wager, blew itself out at last. About dawn 
one morning it began to lull, and by the time the sun 
was fairly out of the water, it full flat calm. It was 
rny morning watch, and what with sea-sickness, 
hard duty, and having been cabined, cribbed, confined 
for so long a time in my narrow and unaccustomed 
lodgings, I felt worn out, and in no mood to exult in 
the choice I had made of a profession. I stood hold- 
ing by one of the belaying pins of the main fife-rail, 
for I had not yet, as the sailors phrase it, got my 
seaJegs aboard, and I looked, I suppose, as melan 
choly as a sick monkey on a lee backstay, when a 
cry from the foretopsail-yard reached my ear, that 
instantly thrilled to my heart, and set the blood run 
ning in a lively current through my veins. " Land, 
oh!" cried the jack-tar on the lookout, in a cable- 


tier voice, which seemed to issue from the bottom of 
his stomach. I have heard many delightful sounds 
in. my time, but few which seemed plcasanter than 
the rough voice of that vigilant sailor. 1 do verily 
believe, that not seven bells (grog time of day) to a 
thirsty tar, the dinner bell to a hungry alderman, or 
the passing bell of some rich old curmudgeon to a 
prodigal heir, ever gave greater- rapture. The 
how-d ye-do of a friend, the good-by of a country 
cousin, the song of tiie Signorlna, and Paganini s 
fiddle, may all have music in them ; but the cry of 
land to a sea-sick midshipman is sweeter than them 

We made what, in nautical language, is termed a 
good land-fall so good, indeed, that it was well for 
us the night and the wind both ceased when they 
did; for, had they lasted another hour, we should 
have found ourselves landed, and in a way that even 
I, much as I wished to set my foot once more on 
terra firma, should not have relished very much. 
On its becoming light enough to ascertain our 
whereabout, it was discovered that we were within 
the very jaws of the Straits, completely land-locked 
by the "steepy shore," where 

" Europe and Afric on each other gozo ;" 

and already beginning to feel the influence of the 
strong and ceaseless easterly current which rushes 
into the Mediterranean through that passage at the 
rate of four or five knots an hour. A gentle land- 


breeze sprung up in the course of the morning 
watch, which, though not exactly fair, yet coming 
from the land of the " dusky Moor," had enough 
of southing in it to enable us, with the set of the 
current, to get along tolerably well, beating with a 
long and a short leg through the Straits. 

But there is no reason that I should make my 
story of the passage as tedious as the reality; so, 
here s fur a fair breeze and square away ! And 
now, let the reader fancy himself riding at anchor 
in the beautiful but unsafe bay of Gibraltar, Directly 
opposite and almost within the very shadow of the 
grand and gigantic fortress, which nature and art 
have vied with each other in rendering, impregnable. 
No one who has looked on that vast and forted rock, 
with its huge granite outline shown in bold relief 
against the clear sky of the south of Europe its 
towering and ruin-crowned peaks its enormous 
crags, caverns, and precipices and its rich histori 
cal associations, shedding a powerful though vague 
interest over every feature can easily forget the 
impression which that imposing and magnificent 
spectacle creates. The flinty mass rising abruptly 
to an elevation of fifteen hundred feet, and surround- 
cd on every side b v* the waters of the Mediterranean, 
save a narrow slip of level sand which stretches 
from its northern end and connects it with the main 
land, has, added to its other claims to admiration, 
the strong interest of utter insolation. 


For a while, the spectator gazes on the "stu 
pendous whole" with an expression of pleased 
wonder at its height, extent, and strength, and 
without becoming conscious of the various oppo 
site features which make up its grand effect of 
sublimity and beauty. He sees only the giant 
rock spreading its vast dark mass against the 
sky, its broken and wavy ridge, its beetling pro 
jections, its "steep down gulfs," and dizzy precipices 
of a thousand fuet perpendicular descent. After a 
tune, his eye becoming in some degree familiarized 
with the main and sterner features of the scene, he 
perceives that the granite mountain is variegated by 
here and there some picturesque work of art, or 
spot of green beauty, smiling with surpassing love 
liness in contrast with the savage roughness around 
it. Dotted about at long intervals over the steep 
sides of the craggy mass, arc seen the humble cot 
tages of the soldiers wives, or, perched on the very 
edges of the clilKs, the guard-houses of the garrison ; 
before which, ever and anon, .may be descried the 
vigilant sentry, dwindled to a pigmy, walking to and 
fro on his allotted and dangerous post. Now and 
then, the eye detects a more sumptuous edifice, half 
hid in a grove of acacias, orange, and almond trees, 
clustering around it, as if to shut from the view of its 
inhabitant, in his eyrie-like abode, the scene ofdeso. 
late grandeur above, beneath hiin, and on every 
side. At the foot of the rock, on a small and nar 
row slip, less precipitous than the rest, stands the 


town of Gibraltar, which, as seen from the bay, 
with its. dark-coloured houses, built in the Spanish 
style, and rising one above another in ampithcatri- 
cal order; the ruins of the Moorish castle and dc- 
fences in the rear ; and the high massive walls which 
enclose it at the water s edge, and v. hich, thick, planted 
with cannon, seem formed to "laugh a seige to 
scorn, * has a highly picturesque effect. The mili 
tary works of Gibraltar are on a scale of magnifi 
cence commensurate with the natural grandeur of 
the scene. Its wails, its batteries, and its moles, 
v/hich, bristling with cannon, stretch far out into tho 
bay, and against whose solid structures the waves 
spend their fury in vain, arc works of art planned 
with great genius, and executed with consummate 
skill. An indefinite sensation of awe mixes with 
the stranger s feelings, as gazing upon the defences 
which every where meet his eye, he remembers, that 
the strength of Gibraltar consists not in its visible 
works alone, but that, hewn in the centre of the vast 
and perpendicular rock, there are long galleries and 
ample chambers, where the engines of war are kept 
always ready, and whence, at any moment, the fires 
of death may be poured down upon an assailant. 

Though the rock is the chief feature of interest in 
the bay of Gibraltar, yet, when fatigued by long 
gazing on its barren and solitary grandeur, there 
are not wanting. other objects on which the eye of 
the stranger may repose with pleasure. The green 


shore? of Andalusia, encircling the bay in their semi- 
circ i? ir sweep, besides the attraction which ver- 
diu.t itills and valleys always possess, have the super- 
added charm of being linked with many classical 
and r-.mantic associations. The picturesque towns 
of Si. lloque and Algesiras, the one crowning a 
*niOv,-! : i eminence at some distance from the shore, 
an .l t!ic other occupying a gentle declivity that sinks 
gradually down to the sparkling waters of the bay 
the mountains of Spain, fringed with cork forests, 
in the back ground the dimly seen coast of Morocco 
across the Straits, with the white walls of Ceuta just 
discernible on one of its promontories the tower 
ing form of Abila, which not even the unromantic 
modern name of Apes-hill can devcst of all its in 
terest as one of "the trophies of great Hercules" 
these arc all attractive features in the natural land 
scape, and, combined, render it a scene of exceeding 

The clear blue waters of the bay itself common 
ly present an appearance of great variety and ani 
mation. Here may at all times be seen, moored 
closely together, a numerous fleet of vessels, from 
every quarter of the globe, of every fashion of struc 
ture, and manned by beings of every creed, land, 
arid colour. The flags and pennons which float from 
their masts, the sounds which rise from their decks, 
and the appearance and employments of the moving 
throngs upon them, all tend to heighten the charm. 


of novelty and variety. In one place, may bo seen, 
perhaps, a shattered and dismantled hulk, on board 
of which some exiled Spanish patriot, with his family, 
has taken refuge, dwelling there full in the sight of 
his native land, which yet he can scarcely hope ever 
to tread again : in another on the high latticed 
stern of a tall, dark-looking craft, whoso raking 
masts, black bends, and trig, warlike appearance 
excite a doubt whether she be merchantman or 
pirate a group of Turks, in their national and 
beautiful costume, smoking their long chiboques with 
an air of as much gravity as if they were engaged in a 
matter on which their lives, or the lives of their 
whole race, depended. Beside them lies a heavy, 
clumsy dogger, on board of which a company of 
industrious, slow-moving Dutchmen arc engaged in 
trafficking away their cargo of cheese, butter, Bo- 
logna sausages, and real Schiedam; and not far 
away from these, a crew of light-hearted Genoese 
sailors arc stretched at length along the deck of their 
polacca, chanting, in voices made musical by dis. 
tance, one of the rich melodies with which their 
language abounds. Boats are continually passing 
hither and thither between the vessels and the shore ; 
arid every now and then, along and slender felucca, 
with its slanting yards, and graceful lateen sails, 
glides across the bay, laden with the products of tho 
fruitful soil of Andalusia, which are destined to sup. 


ply tho tables of the pent-up inhabitants of the gar 
rison. . 

I have mentioned that it was on a fine day in Oc 
tober that we arrived at Gibraltar, and I have ac 
cordingly sketched the Rock, and the adjacent 
scenery, as they appeared to me through the mellow 
light of that pleasant afternoon. To one viewing 
the scene from a different point from that which I 
occupied, our own gallant frigate would have pre 
sented no unattractive object in the picture. While 
we were beating through the Straits, the gunner s 
crew had been employed in blacking the bends, 
somewhat rusty from the constant wash of a stormy 
sea; and we had embraced the opportunity of the 
gentle land breeze to replace our taunt fair-weather 
poles, and to bend and send aloft topgallant-sails, 
royals, and skysails, for which there had not before 
been any recent occasion. Thus renewed, and all 
a-taunto, with our glossy sides glistening in the sun, 
our flags flying, and the broad blue streaming at 
the main, there was no object in all that gay and 
animated bay on which the eye could rest with 
greater pleasure. The bustle consequent upon 
:oming to anchor was, among our active and dis 
ciplined crew, of but brief duration. In a very few 
ninutcs, every yard was squared with the nicest 
precision ; every rope hauled taught, and laid down 
n a handsome Flemish coil upon the deck ; and the 


vast symmetrical bulk, with nothing to indicate its 
recent bufferings with the storm, lay floating quietly 
on the bright surface, 

u As idlo QS a painted ship 

Upon a painted ocean." 

I had been on duty ever since the previous mid- 
night, but I felt no disposition to go below. For 
more than an hour after the boatswain piped down, 
I remained on deck, gazing, with unsatcd eyes, on 
the various and attractive novelties around me. A 
part of the fascination of the scene was doubtless 
owing to that feeling of young romance, which invests 
every object with the colours of the imagination ; and 
a part, to its contrast with the dull and monotonous 
prospect to which 1 had lately been confined, till my 
heart fluttered, like a caged bird, to be once moro 
among the green trees and rustling grass to sco 
fields covered with golden grain, and swelling away 
in their fine undulations to scent the pleasant odour 
of the meadows, and range at will through those 
leafy forests, which, I began to think, were ill ex- 
changed for the narrow and heaving deck of a forty, 
four. Thoughts of this kind mingled with my 
musings, as I leaned over the taffercl, with my eyes 
bent on the verdant hills and slopes of Spain; and 
so absorbed was I in contemplation, that I heard not 
my name pronounced, till it was repeated two or 
three times, by the officer of the deck. 

"Mr. Transom!" cried he, in a quick and irn- 


patient voice, " are you deaf or asleep, sir ? Here, 
jump into the first cutter alongside ! Would you keep 
the commodore waiting all -day?" 

I felt my check redden at this speech of the lieu 
tenant one of those popinjays who, dressed in a 
little brief authority, think to show their own conse 
quence by playing off impertinent airs upon those of 
inferior station. I had seen enough of naval ser 
vice, however, to know that no good comes of re 
plying to the insolence of a superior ; so, suppressing 
the answer that rose to my lips, I hastened down 
the side into the boat, in the stern-sheets of which 
my commander was already seated. 
" Shove off, sir," said he. 

"Let fall! give way!" cried I to the men, who 
sprang to their oars with alacrity, making the boat 
skim through the water lightly and fleetly as a swal 
low through the air. In five minutes wo were 
floating alongside the stone- quay at tho Water.Port 
as the principal and strongly fortified entrance to 
the garrison from the bay is called. 

" You will wait here for me," said the commodore, 
as he stepped outof the boat. " Should I not return 
before the gate, is closed, pull round to tho Ragged- 
Stall"," (the name of the other landing-place,) " and 
wait there." 

" Ay, ay, sir." But though I answered promptly, 
and with a tone of alacrity, I was not, in truth, 
very well pleased at the prospect of a long and 


tedious piece of service, fatigued ns I already was 
with my vigil of the previous night, and the active 
duties of the day. Little cared the old commodore, 
however, whether I was pleased or ofiended. With 
out honouring me with a look, he turned away as 
lie gave the order, and stepping quickly over the 
drawbridge which connects the quay with the for 
tress, disappeared under the massive archway of the 

For a while, the scene at the Water-Port afforded 
abundant amusement. The quay, beside which our 
boat was lying, is a small octangular wharf, construct 
ed of hugu blocks of granite, strongly cemented 
together. It is the only place which boats, except 
those belonging to the garrison, or national vessels 
in the harbour, are permitted to approach; and though 
but a few yards square in extent, is enfiladed in 
several directions by frowning batteries of granite, 
mounted with guns, of which a single discharge 
would shiver tho whole structure to atoms. Mcr. 
chant vessels lying in the bay arc unloaded by 
means of lighters, which, with the boats of passage 
continually plying between the shipping and the 
shore, and the market-boats from the adjacent coast 
of Spain, all crowd round this narrow quay, render, 
ing it. a place of singular business and bustle. As 
the sunset hour approaches, the activity and con- 
fusion increases. Crowds of people, of all nations, 
and every variety of costume and language, jostle 



each other as they hurry through the gate. The 
stately Greek, in his embroidered jacket, rich purple 
cap, and flowing capote, strides carelessly along. 
The Jew, with bent h ,-ad, shaven crown, and coarse, 
though not unpicturesque gaberdine, glides with a 
noiseless step through the crowd, turning from side 
to side quick wary glances from underneath his 
downcast brows. The Moor, wrapped close in his 
white bernoosc, stalks sullenly apart, as if he alone 
had no business in the stirring scene; while the 
noisy Spaniard at his side wages an obstreperous 
argument, or shouts in loud guttural sounds for his 
boat. French, English, and Americans, oflicers, 
merchants, and sailors, arc all intermingled in the 
motley mass, each engaged in his own business, and 
each adding his part to the Babel-like clamour of 
tongues. High on the walls, the sentinels, with 
their arms glistening in the sun, walk to arid fro on 
their posts, and look down with indiQerence or ab 
straction on the scene of hurry and turmoil beneath 

Among the various striking figures that attracted 
my attention, as I reclined in the stern-sheets of the 
cutter, gazing on the shifting throng before me, 
there was one the appearance arid manners of whom 
awakened peculiar interest. He was a tall, muscu 
lar, dark-looking Spaniard, whoso large frarne^ and 
strong and well proportioned limbs were set olf to 
good advantage by the national dress of the pea- 


santry of his country. His sombrero, slouched in 
a studied manner over his eyes, as if to conceal their 
fierce rolling balls, shaded a face, the sun-burnt hue 
of which showed that it had not always been so 
carefully protected. From the crimson sash which 
was bound round his waist, concealing the connex 
ion of his embroidered velvet jacket with his nether 
garments, a long knife depended ; and this, together 
with a sinister expression of countenance, and an in- 
dcscribablc something in the general air and bear 
ing of the man, created an impression which caused 
me to shrink involuntarily from him whenever he ap 
proached the boat. He himself seemed actuated by 
similar feelings. On first meeting my eye, he drew 
his sombrero deeper over his brow, and hastily re 
tired to another part of the quay; but every now 
and then I could seo his dark face above a group 
of the intervening throng, and his keen black eyes 
seemed always directed towards me, till, perceiving 
that I noticed him, he would turn away, and mix 
again among the remoter portion of the crowd. 

I endeavoured to follow this singular figure in 
one of his windings through the multitude, when my 
attention was drawn in another direction by a loud, 
long call from a bugle, sounded within the walls, 
and, in an instant after, repeated with a clearer and 
louder blast from their summit* This signal gave 
new motion and activity to the crowd. A few hur 
ried from the quay into the garrison, but a greater 


number poured from the interior, and hastily crossed 
the drawbridge to the quay, and all appeared anx 
ious to depart. Boat after boat was drawn up, re- 
ceived its burden, and darted ofF, while others took 
their places, and were in turn soon filled by the retir 
ing crowd. Soldiers from the garrison came out 
upon the quay to urge the tardy into qulckcr.motion ; 
mingled shouts, calls, and curses resounded on every 
side ; and for a few minutes confusion seemed worse 
confounded. But in a short time the last loiterer 
was hurried away the last felucca shoved off, and 
was seen gliding on it course, the sound of its oars 
almost drowned in the noisy gabble of its Andalusian 
crew. As soon as the quay became entirely de 
serted, the military returned within the walls, and a 
pause of silence ensued then pealed the sunset gun 
from the summit of the rock the drawbridge, by 
some unseen agency, was rolled slowly back, till it 
disappeared within the arched passage the ponde 
rous gates turned on their enormous hinges and 
Gibraltar was closed for the night against the world. 

D O 

Thus shut out at the Water-Port, I directed the 
boat s crew, in compliance with my orders, to pull 
round to the Ragged-Staff. The wall at this 
place is of great height, and near its top is left a 
small gate, at an elevation of fifty or sixty feet above 
the quay, which projects into the bay beneath. It is 
attained by a spiral staircase, erected about twenty 
feet from the wall, and communicating with it at the 


top by means of a drawbridge. This gate is little 
used, except for the egress of those who arc per 
mitted to leave the garrison after nightfall. On 
reaching the quay, I sprang ashore, and walking to 
a favourable position, endeavoured to amuse myself 
once more by contemplating from this new point of 
view the hills and distant mountains of Spain. But 
the charm was now fled. Night was fast stealing 
over the landscape, and rendering its features misty 
and indistinct : a change, too, had taken place in my 
own feelings, since, a few hours before, I had found 
so mucli pleasure in dwelling on the scene around 
me. I was now cold, fatigued, and hungry : my 
eyes had been fed with novelties until they were 
weary with gazing : my mind had been crowded 
with a succession of new images, until its vigour was 
exhausted. I cast my eyes up to the Rock, but it 
appeared cold and desolate in the deepening twi 
light, and I turned from its steep, flinty sides, and 
dreadful precipices, with a shudder. The waves 
and ripples of the bay, which the increasing evening 
wind had roughened, broke against the quay where 
I was standing with a sound that created a chilly 
sensation at my heart. Even the watch-dog s bark, 
from on board some vessel in the bay, gave me no 
pleasure, as it was borne faintly to my car by the 
eastern breeze ; for it was associated with sounds of 
home, and awakened me to a painful consciousness 
of tho distance I had wandered, and the fatigues and 


perils to which I was exposed ; and a train of somhro 
thoughts, despite my efforts to drive them away, took 
possession of my mind. 

At length, yielding to their influence, I climbed to 
the top of a rude heap of stones, which had been 
piled on the end of the pier, and seating myself where 
my eye could embrace every portion of the shadowy 
landscape, I gave free rein to melancholy fancies. 
My wandering thoughts roamed over a thousand 
subjects ; but one subject predominated over all. My 
memory recalled many images ; but one image it 
presented with the vividness of life., and dwelt on 
with the partiality of love. It was the image of one 
who had been the object of my childhood s love, 
whom I had loved in boyhood, and whom now, in 
opening manhood, I still loved with a passionate 
and daily increasing affection. Linked with the 
memory of that s\vcet being, came thoughts of the 
rival who had sought to win her heart from me, 
and who, foiled in his purpose, had conceived and 
avowed the bitterest enmity to me : and from him, 
my thoughts glided, under the influence of some 
strange association, to the tall and singular-looking 
Spaniard whom I had seen at the Water-Port. In 
this way my vagrant meditations ranged from topic 
to topic, with all that wildncss of transition which is 
sometimes produced by the excitement of opium. 

"While thus engaged, I kno\v not how long 
a time slipped by ; but at length rny thoughts 


began to grow less distinct, and my eyes to feel 
heavy ; and had I not been restrained by a sense of 
shame and duty as an officer, I should have been 
glad to resign myself to sleep. My eyelids, in des 
pite of me, did o ;ce or twice close for -an instant or 
two ; and it was in an effort to arouse myself from 
one of these little attacks of somnolency, that I v/os 
startled by seeing an object before me, the appear, 
ancc of whom in that place struck me with surprise. 
The moon had risen, and was just shedding a thin 
and feeble glimmer over the top of the Rock, the 
broad deep shadow of which extended almost to the 
spot where I was sitting. Emerging from this 
shadow, I saw approaching me the identical Spa- 
niard whoso malign expression of countenance and 
general appearance had so strongly attracted my 
attention at the Water-Port. That it was the same 
I could not doubt, for his height, his dress, his air, 
all corresponded exactly. He had the same long 
peculiar step ; he still wore the same large sombrero, 
which, as before, was drawn deep over his brows; 
the same glistening knife was thrust through his sash ; 
and the same fantastically stamped leather gaiters 
covered his legs. He approached close to me, and 
in a voice, which, though hardly above a whisper, 
thrilled me to the bone, informed me that the com- 
modore had sent for me, and bade me follow him. 
As he spoke these words he turned away, and walked 

tf>U/n Vita tlir nrn.vvionrt .QM-r>11 r f*n,-rt -!* rr/-.n + lr vnnt l 


er? A sensation of fear crept over me at the idea 
that I was to follow this herculean and sinister-look 
ing Spaniard, and I had some faint misgivings wheth 
er I ought to obey his summons. But I reflected 
that he Avas probably a servant or messenger of 
some officer or family where the commodore was 
visiting; that l:e could have no motive to mislead 
me ; and that, were I to neglect obeying the order 
through apprehension of its bearer, because he was 
tall, had whiskers, and wore a sombrero, I should 
deservedly bring down upon myself the ridicule of 
every midshipman in the Mediterranean. Besides, 
thought I, how foolish should I feel, if it should turn 
out, as is very likely, that this is some ball or party 
to which the commodore has been urged to stay, 
and, unwilling to keep me waiting for him so long 
in this dreary place, he has sent to invite me to join 
him. This last reflection turned the scale; so slip 
ping down from my perch, I followed towards the 
gate. The form of the stranger had already dis 
appeared in the shadow of the Rock ; but on reach 
ing the foot of the spiral staircase which led up to 
the drawbridge, I could hear his heavy tread as 
cending the steps. Directly after, the gate was un 
barred, the bridge lowered, and a footstep crossing 
it announced that the Spaniard was within the walls. 
I followed as rapidly as I could, and got within the 
gate just in time to see the form of rny conductor 
disappear round one of the angles of the fortifica. 


tions ; but quickening my pace, I overtook him as he 
reached the foot of a path winch seemed to ascend 
towards the southern end of the Rock. 

" This way lies the town," said I, pointing in the op- 
positc direction ; " you surely have mistaken the 

The Spaniard made no answer, but pointed with 
his hand up the narrow and difficult path, and beck- 
oning me to follow him, began the ascent. The 
moon shone on his countenance for a moment as ho 
turned towards me, and I thought I could perceive 
that the sinister expression which had been one of 
the first things that drew my attention to him, was 
now aggravated into a smile of more decided malig 
nity. I continued to follow, however, and struggled 
hard to overtake him. J3ut the path was steep and 
very rugged, and my conductor walked with great 
speed. His footing seemed sure as that of the 
mountain goat. I became wearied, exhausted, 
almost ready to drop with fatigue, and with all my 
efforts was unable to diminish the interval between 
us. The ascent continually grew more difficult* 
and it soon became so steep, indeed, that 1 could 
scarcely clamber up it. My feet were bruised 
through the thin soles of my pumps, and in toiling on 
my hands and knees over some of the most abrupt 
pitches, the jagged points of the rock penetrated my 
flesh. After thus slowly and painfully groping my 
way for a considerable distance, we at lenirth reach- 


ed a place where the path pursued a level course 
but what a path ! what a place ! A narrow ledge, 
scarce two feet wide, had been formed, partly by 
nature, partly by art, at the height of a thousand 
feat above the water, around a sweep of the rock 
where it rose perpendicularly from its base to its 
extreme summit. This ledge was covered with 
loose stones, which, at every step, fell rattling and 
thundering down the mighty precipice, till the sound 
died a\yay in the immense depths below. 1 could 
not conjecture whither the Spaniard was leading 
me; but I had now gone too far to think of retreat 
ing. Every step was now at the hazard of life. 
The ledge was so narrow, the loose stones which 
covered it rolled so easily from under my. feet, and 
my knees trembled so violently from fear and fatigue, 
that I could scarcely hope to continue much further 
in safety over such a pathway. At last we reached 
a broader spot. I sunk down exhausted, yet with 
a feeling of joy that I had escaped from the perilous 
path I had just been treading. The Spaniard stood 
beside me, and I thought a smile of malign satisfac 
tion played round his lips as he looked down upon 
me, panting at his feet. He suffered me to rest but 
a moment, when he motioned me to rise. I obeyed 
the signal, as if it were the behest of my evil genius. 

" Look round you," said he, " and tell me what 
you behold !" 

J glanced my eyes round, and shuddering, with- 


drew them from the fearful prospect. The ledge or 
platform on which we were standing was but a fcv/ 
feet square ; behind, a largo and gloomy cavern 
opened its black jaws ; and in front, the rock de* 
sccnded to the sea with so perpendicular a front, that 
a stone, dropped from its edge, would have fallen 
without interruption straight down into the waves. 

"Arc you ready to make the leap ?" said tho 
Spaniard, in a smooth, sneering tone, seeing, and 
seeming to enjoy, the terror of my countenance. 

" For heaven s sake/ cried I, "who are you? and 
why am I made your victim? 

"Look 1 !" cried lie, throwing the sombrero from 
his head, and approaching close to me, "look ! know 
you not these features? They are those of him 
whose path you have crossed- once, but shall never 
cross again!" 

He seized hold of me as he spoke, with a fiendish 
grasp, and strove to hurl me headlong from the rock. 
I struggled with all the energy of desperation, and 
for a moment bailled the design. lie released his 
hold round my body, and stepping back, stood an 
instant gazing on me with the glaring ^eyeballs of a 
tiger about to spring upon its prey; then darting 
towards me, he grappled me with both hands round 
the throat, arid dragged me, despite my struggling, 
to the very verge of the precipice. With a power- 
ful exertion of strength, which I was no longer 
ablo to resist, he dashed my body over the edge, 



ftncl held me out at arm s length above the dread 
abyss. The agony of years of wretchedness com. 
pressed into a single second, could not exceed the 
horror of the moment I remained so suspended. 
There was a small tree or bush which grew out of 
a cleft just beneath the ledge. In my despairing, 
frantic struggle, I caught hold of a branch of it, just 
nt the critical instant when the Spaniard relaxed 
liis grasp, intending to drop me down the fearful 
gulf. His purpose was again baillcd for another 
moment of horror. He gnashed his teeth as he 
fiaw me swing off upon the fragile branch, which 
cracked and bent beneath my weight, and, at most, 
could save me from his fury but for a fleeting mo 
ment. That moment seemed too long for his 
impatient hate. He sprang to the very verge 
of the ledge, and placing his foot firmly on the tree, 
pressed it down with all his strength. In vain, with 
chattering teeth and horror-choked voice, I implored 
him to desist. He answered not, but stamped 
furiously on the tree. The root began to give way 
- the loosened dirt fell from around it the trunk 
snapped, cracked, and separated and the fiend set 
up an inhuman laugh, which rung in my cars like 
the mocking of a demon, as down down down I 
O, through the chill, thick, pitchy air, till striking 

with a mighty force on the roeks beneath 1 

>vakcd, and lo, it was a dream! 

It was broad daylight. In my sleep I had rolled from 


the heap of stones which had furnished me with my 
evening seat of meditation, and which, during my sleep, 
had supplied my imagination with abundant materials 
for yawnhg gulfs and chasms. The laugh of the 
infernal Spaniard turned out to be only a burst of in- 
nocent merriment at my plight from little Paul Mes 
senger, a rosy, curly-haired midshipman, and ono 
of the finest little fellows in the world. The matter 
was soon explained. The commodore, returning to 
the boat, and seeing me sleeping on a bed of my own 
choosing, as he expressed it, had chosen to punish 
me by leaving me to my slumbers. So shoving oft , 
without waking me, he had returned to the ship ; on 
reaching which, however, he gave the ofliccr of the 
deck directions to send a boat for me at daylight. 
Little Paul, always ready to do a kind act, asked to 
go officer of her ; and we pulled back to the frigate, 
laughing over my story of the imaginary adventures 
of the night. 



His breast with wounds unnumbered riven, 
His back to earth, his face to heaven, 
Fallen Hassan lieshis unclosed eyo 
Yet lowering on hit) enemy, 
Asiflho hour that seaU-cl hiufato, 
Surviving left Ms quenchless hnte: 
And o er him hcnila his foe, with brow 
As dark as his that bled below. 

ME, spin us a yarn, Jack, my boy," said a 
curly-headed, rosy-cheeked young midshipman, to old 
Jack Palmer, one evening, as the vessel to which they 
were attached was running down the Spanish Main, 
before as sweet a breeze as ever filled a topgallant- 
sail. Jack Palmer was an old sea-dog, and a 
clever fellow, that is to say, in the Yankee sense 
of the word. He had seen all sorts of service, and 
knew all sorts of stories, which were perhaps not 
the less amusing for the nautical phraseology in 
which, they were expressed. lie w-is master s mate 
of the gun-deck ; hut when called upon for a story 
by Rosy Willy, (tire name of the little reefer that 
had asked Jack fora yarn,) his business for the day 

n i